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  1. #1
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    Pad for ground/floor use on AT?

    Shrewd wrote up a great post trip report on his thru-hike saying he suffered on hard surfaces about 5 times. Chop added he uses half of a Z-rest pad for such occasions. I am debating is it worth the extra 9-10 oz and funky yellow/silver strap-on (sorry, that sounds totally wrong!) to carry a folding pad for those few times. Another report by a soon-to-be repeat hiker said he wants to engage more socially by staying in hostels, huts and the like which would increase the odds of a hard floor or 2x4 bunk.

    So AT veterans, what say you? Be lighter and slimmer yet lose sleep a few times, OR have a bread box hanging off your pack and endure hard surfaces more easily? I really do not plan to stay in many shelters to avoid mice, snores, and waking up at least two people when I have to water a tree in the middle of the night.

    Thanks in advance!

    Popps

  2. #2
    just a thought, but what about a cheap pool float (like for a buck or so) will pack smaller than the z-rest and can live at the bottom of the pack till you need it. might even be more comfy... but zero insulation...

  3. #3
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    Moe T Crow

    Been there done that, bought a Thermarest. I went flat in the middle of the night after only a couple of uses.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shrewd's Avatar
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    Were I to do it again, Iíd still bring the underquilt.

    Itís worth mentioning that I carried a neoair xlite for the Smokies and stubbornly all the way to southern Virginia. Not counting the Smokies I used it once.

    There are definitely times where it would have come in handy, but it just wasnít worth it to me. I still sleep uncomfortably even with a pad, so being able to crash on a hotel floor or something wasnít really on my mind. Most hostels have foam pads on their bunks (and those donít feel great either).

    I would suggest you start with it for the peace of mind and after a few weeks youíll probably decide to send it home. Better yet save the weight and start without it, then get it at Fontana before the Smokies and see how you feel about having it.

    You could also bring a pad in lieu of an under quilt to save weight and be prepared for all situations

  5. #5
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    I'd trust the advice from Chop and Shrewd, but don't omit the underquilt.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shrewd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WV View Post
    I'd trust the advice from Chop and Shrewd, but don't omit the underquilt.
    Underquilts4lyf

  7. #7
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    It truly is a personal choice. Shrewd helped me a great deal as I finalized prep for my 18 thru hike. I would have shipped a Neo Air with my one resupply to Fontana Dam, if I knew then what I know now. Instead, I had two horrible nights in shelters before I bought a Neo Air at the NOC in G-Burg. I carried that 13 oz pad the rest of the trip and would do it again for the added benefit of increasing options. Shrewd felt he carried it to long. Personal choice you make because youíre the only one carrying the pack and Hiking your hike. PS, I bought a Z-Lite pad (very common on the AT) that I originally was going to ship if needed, but it weighs an ounce more than the Neo Air and doesnít carry in the bottom of the pack. It is still brand new in the wrapper. It also doesnít risk leaking though. Again, personal choice.
    "gbolt" on the Trail
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  8. #8
    Senior Member dakotaross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popps View Post
    I am debating is it worth the extra 9-10 oz and funky yellow/silver strap-on...
    Hey, if it makes you more comfortable on the ground then I think its fine. What?

    I carry a Klymit Inertia Xlite, which I find to strike a reasonable balance between size, weight and comfort, as well as being a decent supplement in the hammock.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  9. #9
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    Great discussion here guys. I was going to start another thread asking a similar question, but I'll just piggyback onto this thread.

    I'm currently getting gear together for a thru-hike, I know that it's super late in the season already (there's just a couple of pieces of gear that I need to make). I have been planning to make both a Top quilt and an Under quilt. My question is how much can a pad replace an underquilt. I have a Cosmo Lite Insulated 20r pad that is a super comfortable pad for me. It weighs a pound.

    My question is if I can deal without an underquilt for a good portion of the season. Right now, I've been planning on taking a TQ, an UQ, and the pad. I figured this gave me good ground lay possibility with my tarp and ground cloth, but I've been wondering if this is just overkill. Right now, I'm planning on starting near the beginning of April, so that I can attend Trail Days. Would having both an UQ and a pad be overkill?

    ETA: I've been thinking about this thread, and looking at the cost of costco down throws. I'm now thinking that 2 of the costco down throws along with the pad would be suitable. If it gets exceedingly cold underneath, then I can use one of the down throws as an UQ. With my pad being rated to 15 to 25 degrees, I need to try and decide if this insulation is enough for me.
    Last edited by Trambo; 01-11-2019 at 14:52.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shrewd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trambo View Post
    Great discussion here guys. I was going to start another thread asking a similar question, but I'll just piggyback onto this thread.

    I'm currently getting gear together for a thru-hike, I know that it's super late in the season already (there's just a couple of pieces of gear that I need to make). I have been planning to make both a Top quilt and an Under quilt. My question is how much can a pad replace an underquilt. I have a Cosmo Lite Insulated 20r pad that is a super comfortable pad for me. It weighs a pound.

    My question is if I can deal without an underquilt for a good portion of the season. Right now, I've been planning on taking a TQ, an UQ, and the pad. I figured this gave me good ground lay possibility with my tarp and ground cloth, but I've been wondering if this is just overkill. Right now, I'm planning on starting near the beginning of April, so that I can attend Trail Days. Would having both an UQ and a pad be overkill?

    ETA: I've been thinking about this thread, and looking at the cost of costco down throws. I'm now thinking that 2 of the costco down throws along with the pad would be suitable. If it gets exceedingly cold underneath, then I can use one of the down throws as an UQ. With my pad being rated to 15 to 25 degrees, I need to try and decide if this insulation is enough for me.
    Start practicing with the pad now - some people just canít do the pad, and Iím one of them. Make sure you iron out any kinks you find now so you donít face any problems on trail (because that sucks, ask me how I know).

    Most decent pads are good to low 20s so yours should be fine (if a little heavy) the whole way. In April you shouldnít have too many cold nights but be aware this can change due to site selection (exposure to wind and such) and storms. I almost ditched my cold weather stuff in Damascus in early May and was glad I didnít because it got cold a few nights. I held on to it a few weeks more.

    Of course, your mileage can and will vary.

    Pads are subjective, but man, pardon the opinionated ******* in me coming out; donít mess with Costcoís throws.

    If you like to sew and have seen all the tutorials about converting them into top and under quilts, give it a go with the knowledge that they are summer only 50ish degree quilts.

    However, your hammock is going to be your home for half a year. Saving a few hundred bucks now weighed against the several thousand youíll spend over the course of six months on such an important piece of your kit seems foolish to me, and Iíd urge you to check out hammock gearís Econ series, or Loco Libre Gearís saver series quilts.

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